Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is under fire from most Americans after a bombshell report revealed that he knew how bad the coronavirus pandemic would be early on and that he sold off his massive stock holdings just before the stock market nosedived.
On Thursday, audio revealed that Burr warned his wealthy constituents in the early days of the outbreak that it would get really bad all while he assured the public that all is well.
“There’s one thing that I can tell you about this: It is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything that we have seen in recent history,” Burr said. “It is probably more akin to the 1918 pandemic.”
Burr had access to top intelligence reports on the virus and it’s spread, which gave him the inside information that allowed him to sell off his stocks before they lost value.
According to ProPublica:
Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $582,029 and $1.56 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 29 separate transactions.
Americans are now feeling financial pain while Burr is rolling in cash he gained from selling his stocks before the stock market went to hell in a hand-basket. He knew the economy would collapse and he knew that the virus would become a pandemic here. He told his rich buddies, but he didn’t tell everyone else.
Outrage has ensued ever since, with many calling for Burr to be investigated and to resign, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).
As Intel chairman, @SenatorBurr got private briefings about Coronavirus weeks ago.
Burr knew how bad it would be. He told the truth to his wealthy donors, while assuring the public that we were fine.
THEN he sold off $1.6 million in stock before the fall.
He needs to resign. https://t.co/IAITMbJ3R5
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 19, 2020
Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance called for Burr to be investigated for possibly violating the Stock Act.
Also, an independent counsel needs to look at whether he violated the Stock Act.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) March 19, 2020
It appears that Burr used inside information he gained through his powerful position in Congress to enrich himself and avoid losing money on stocks. This is illegal, and is most certainly unethical. This sort of misconduct should force him to resign at the very least. At most, he should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Burr violated the public trust at a time when Americans need transparency and honesty from lawmakers the most. He betrayed the American people to protect his own financial interests even as the rest of us now struggle. And this is why Republicans cannot be trusted to remain in power. President Donald Trump claimed he would “drain the swamp.” Burr is the perfect example demonstrating that it was all a lie.
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